First board exam for cardiovascular CT nets 80% pass rate

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The Certification Board of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (CBCCT) earlier this month announced that 715 out of 878 examinees passed its first certification exam in cardiovascular CT.

“The high number of applicants and successful examinees in the first year demonstrates the strong commitment cardiovascular CT practitioners have made to obtain high level training and to demonstrate excellence in technical and image interpretation skills in order to provide quality studies for optimal cardiac patient care,” said Manuel Cerqueira, MD, president of the CBCCT board of directors.

The nearly five-hour computer-based exam, offered last September, tests practitioners in nine areas associated with cardiovascular CT that cover technical aspects, radiation safety and application of this basic knowledge to image interpretation and patient management. The 170-question exam had a high proportion of questions requiring interpretation of cardiovascular CT images, according to Cerqueira, chair of nuclear medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

The majority of participants were cardiologists, followed by radiologists, according to board member Allen J. Taylor MD, co-director of noninvasive imaging at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.

“We were encouraged to see radiologists take the exam,” Taylor said. “Quality in imaging is not a specialty-specific domain. The point of the certification board is to identify cardiovascular imagers who pursue quality, be they cardiologists, radiologists or nuclear medicine physicians.”

The next exam will be offered on Sept. 15 and 16, 2009, in the U.S. and abroad. Registration is expected to open in March 2009.